Today, NPR’s Here and Now had a segment ‘You Lie’ and More which featured former President Jimmy Carter clearly stating that he believes racism played a role in Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst during President Obama’s speech to Congress on Health Care Reform.
“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African-American,” Carter said. (From Guardian.co.uk)
Jimmy Carter says Racism is behind the Right winger’s Protest
Even though the White House released a statement saying President Obama does not believe he’s being criticized because of his race, the fact is that certain right wing media personalities like Rush Limbaugh are doing their best to stir the pot with racist feelings against President Obama and his policies.
This absolutely must stop. Whether it is for ratings or political gain, scaring people about race is wrong. We must come together in this country in a respectful manner to have reasoned dialogue and debate about issues like Health Care Reform, Energy Policy and Reform of Financial Regulations to prevent a repeat of our financial meltdown in 2008 and early 2009.
Even though a majority of Americans of all colors voted for President Obama in 2008, there are groups of people within the U.S. who openly or secretly hold onto racist viewpoints and who may have difficulty being civil about their strong feelings. The anger at President Obama in many instances is off the scales and it is not just because of philosophical or political differences.
It is my deepest wish that Americans will be able to put aside their petty differences and engage fully with each other in a peaceful manner to come up with solutions to our current health care issues and financial problems.
Before we can move forward, however, it is important to also be aware of what is really going on with some people regarding the race issue. Ignoring the problem or saying it does not exist does not necessarily make it vanish into thin air.
What is needed is for more people to come forward to urge their hot-headed colleagues to calm down and search their hearts for whether they have racist feelings towards people of color and also towards people who have a different religion than their own.
I think it was appropriate of President Carter to clearly state that some folks are racist. Awareness that we have a problem is the first step to recovery and progress.
Therefore, various congressmen like Rep. Joe Wilson need to search their own hearts to find out what is truly there that may need to be reformed for the betterment of themselves and for all Americans.